Disadvantages of Hunting from an Elevated Stand

  • Written By Eric Crouch on September 14, 2020
    Last Updated: January 31, 2021

Hunting from an elevated stand has many advantages but it also has its disadvantages. One of the main disadvantages that springs to mind first is the inconvenience of movement while hunting. When hunting from an elevated stand you have a great field of view compared to hunting from the ground however you are restricted to sitting in one place for long periods of time.

You have to be confident that your stand is in the right place otherwise you will likely sit long hours with no luck just to get down and move locations again.

Elevated stands are great in some situations but in others, you are better off roaming on the ground to find your quarry. They offer a wide field of view that is uninterrupted over distances that you simply can’t get when hunting from the ground. When safety is concerned, there is more of a risk of falling and hurting yourself however you are more visible to other hunters and you will always shoot with a sufficient backstop because you are aiming toward the ground.

There are plenty of pros to hunting from an elevated stand but there are also more cons than the restriction of movement. In this article, we will be looking at the main advantages and disadvantages of hunting from an elevated stand so you can make an educated decision before you head out and buy and bring a stand on your next hunting trip. Enjoy!

What is an Elevated Stand?

An elevated stand provides the hunter with a place to sit above ground so they can shoot from a point of elevation. They are becoming more and more popular with bow and firearm hunters for their sight advantages. They provide a wide and long-range field of view that makes it easier to pinpoint game from distance, and ultimately, they make the shot to bag a buck possible when conditions do not suit on the ground. They can be tree stands that are mounted on a trunk and climbed using a rope or ladder, or they can be freestanding structures that are more permanent.

Freestanding elevated stands can sometimes be a little more luxurious than your typical tree stand, and they are usually permanent/ semi-permanent structures. These structures can have a cover to keep dry while spending long periods above ground, and they sometimes even have a small enclosed shelter that you can use to get out of the cold to rest and eat. On the other hand, the tree stand is usually transported by the hunter and mounted in a location that they feel is worth the wait. These are much less accommodating and usually just feature a small sitting platform to shoot from, but they do give the hunter the option to move location and shoot from any tree that is climbable.

Elevated stands are by far the most popular way to hunt moose and bear in Northern Europe (Sweden in particular) as they give the hunter a raised point of view over glades and above dense pine forest. This form of hunting has been used for decades in Europe and tree stands in particular are quickly becoming popular among bow hunters in the U.S to hunt white-tailed deer and bear. The security, field of view, and reduced scent (from the hunter) give the marksman the edge over hunters on the ground.

What are the Advantages of Hunting from an Elevated Stand?

Hunting from an elevated stand has many advantages and they are becoming ever popular among the bow-hunting, muzzle-loader, and rifle community for a good reason. People go through the hassle of transporting tree stands to their favorite hunting grounds and construct freestanding elevated stands on their land, because quite simply, they get results. So, what exactly are the advantages of hunting from an elevated stand, and why are they useful in so many hunting situations? In this section, we have a list of the main advantages so you can see why they are so beneficial.

  • They give you a wider field of view which allows you to spot game that at ground level would be unnoticeable
  • Being able to see game enter your range from a distance gives you the ability to plan and prepare for the best possible shot and outcome
  • The hunter’s scent is much harder for animals to detect when perched on an elevated stand, which provides an edge over hunting from ground level
  • The hunter is positioned above an animal’s normal field of view, so the hunter goes unnoticed for much longer
  • When shooting from an elevated stand the hunter will always have the best possible backstop (the ground) as they are shooting at a descending angle
  • Shooting from above the target gives the bow hunter a better shot angle, meaning faster kills and a better blood trail for quick recovery
  • Someone shooting from a stand is more visible to other hunters which reduces the risk of getting hit by a stray bullet
  • Having an elevated point of view is a great way to enjoy the surrounding nature as well as spotting game easier
  • They allow you to prepare and get into a comfortable shooting position long before your target comes into view

What are the Disadvantages of Hunting from an Elevated Stand?

Although there are many advantages to hunting from an elevated stand as you read in the last section, there are also a few disadvantages and drawbacks to hunting from them. They are great in a range of situations, but they can’t be used in every environment, and, in some cases, you are far better off hunting on foot. So, what are these drawbacks, and what makes elevated stands a burden in some hunting situations? In this section, we will be looking at the disadvantages of elevated stands so you can see whether having one on your property or in your hunting inventory is worthwhile.

  • When hunting from an elevated stand you have a much higher risk of injury of falling from height
  • Tree stands can be a bit on the bulky side, making them difficult to transport and carry into the field
  • Tree stands provide no protection from the cold, wind, and rain which can be less than comfortable in the bad months
  • More permanent freestanding elevated stands are difficult to move, meaning that is the game disappear from your spot it is next to useless
  • Tree stands give minimal wiggle room and they can become extremely uncomfortable when sitting for extended periods of time
  • Shooting distances can be difficult to estimate when you first start shooting from an elevated position because of the downward angled trajectory
  • If game moves out of view or behind an object you cannot move position to adjust your shot which can lose you a few opportunities if you set up in the wrong environment
  • If you set up in the wrong place it is a hassle to disassemble and move location, so once you are set up that is usually your location for the day


Overall, hunting from an elevated stand can give you the edge over hunters that are shooting from the ground, they can increase your chances of a kill, and open up more opportunities if you are in the right location. Hunting from an elevated stand has many advantages but they also have a few downsides, so it is important to set up in the right location and assess whether your hunting ground is suited for them.

Elevated stands can either benefit you greatly and help you improve on your hunting or they can become a huge burden depending on your situation, so make sure you use them wisely. Safety-wise, they keep you visible to hunters and ensure you are always shooting a firearm or bow with the safest possible backdrop, however, they do increase your risk of injury from falling. Hopefully, this article has answered some questions you may have had about hunting from elevated stands. Now you should be able to make an educated decision on whether they will be of benefit you or become a burden to your hunting career. Happy hunting, and safe shooting!

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